In Your Arms

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Chapter 14- Noah

It’s 8am on a Sunday. And I work all day.

What’s worse than that?

I haven’t spoken to Haven. I didn’t even wake up for our morning run together. I’m just not ready to deal with yesterday’s events. It was a rollercoaster of emotions. One minute, I’m so happy, looking forward to spending the day with Haven. Next thing you know I see not only Olivia, but that jack ass Kyle.

I get out of my bed, walking out my bedroom to the bathroom.

I felt like I was punched in the face. I don’t even remember, how I got back home. I just remember the anger overwhelming me. I couldn’t help myself but react. I feel terrible Haven even saw me that way. I have to make it up to her.

I brush my teeth and wash my face. Then go back to my room and get dressed for the day putting on light wash jeans, my work t-shirt, and a dark blue baseball cap backwards. I walk out the door, but before leaving, I go up the stairs. I see Ava in the kitchen once again, it looks like she’s preparing her lunch for the day. She looks up and smiles.

“Ha! I saw you before you can scare me,” she says, pointing an apple that’s in her hand towards me and smiles. I give her a small smile, a huge indication that I’m in a bad mood. Her face drops immediately catching on to my cue. “Oh no, what happened?” She asks, putting the apple down on the counter and walking around it, towards me. I take a seat in the stool and she does the same in the one next to mine.

I shake my head.

“I messed up Ave, bad,” I say putting my face in my hands. I can feel her hand on my back.

“What do you mean? Messed up with what? With that girl Haven?” I nod my head, answering her question, my face now looking down at the counter. “Well, what happened? I’m sure it can’t be that bad.” I look at her.

“Well, it is. I fucking saw Olivia and Kyle,” I say getting up angrily off the stool. I start to pace back and forth.

“Oh no, with Haven there? What happened?”

“Yes! Haven was there. We went to Savannah because Haven needed someone to drive her because she had no way back to Waterston, so I offer her right?” Ava nods, allowing me to continue, “We go, then decide to go to the shopping center. Next thing you know we’re leaving Panera and Haven is speaking to Olivia. I didn’t even realize at first because I was holding the door open for this couple walking into Panera.” Ava listens intently her arms crossed over her chest. “I walk out the door next to Haven, bam! There’s Liv and Kyle. Just fucking there. As a normal couple. No care in the world. All of a sudden I’m rushing Haven out of there and almost get into a car crash, because I was so angry.”

“Wait,” Ava says, interrupting, “You almost what? Are you okay?” I nod. “So what else happened?” Ava asks, her arms still crossed over her chest.

“I don’t even fucking know, Ava. I just remember Haven offering to drive. The poor girl man. I was so angry, shit I’m still angry. I don’t even know how I got home last night,” I continue to pace back and forth. “I feel terrible, Ave, I really do.” She gets up.

“Okay, okay, relax Noah. Look, just go see Haven before work and apologize,” she stands in front of me. “If you want invite her over for dinner. You, Haven, me and Drew, okay?” I nod thinking about her offer. This might be good; Haven can meet Ava. It can be good.

“Yeah, that’ll work. Okay, we’ll do that. I’ll see you later than, I’ll bring the wine,” I say rubbing my hands together. Ava smiles and nods. I kiss her on the cheek and start walking back towards the steps. Before I start going down the stairs, I turn around. “Was your advice just a way to get me to bring Haven over so you can officially meet her?” Her back is towards me as she looks in her fridge.

“You betcha!” I hear her laughing, and I shake my head at my sister.

She always gets her way.

*********

I head to Haven’s house.

I have to apologize to her. I feel terrible with the way I acted. I wish she had a phone, so I could’ve called her and told her I was sorry. I was so blind sided with seeing Liv that I wasn’t thinking. She must’ve been so scared, with the way I reacted, hitting the wheel. Yet, she still comforted me. She hugged me and stayed put, not that she could leave because we were an hour away from home. She must be so confused. I know I have to speak to her about everything, but first I want to see where her head is.

When I ride up her driveway, I see the truck. Turning off the bike, I hop off, and walk up her steps. I knock a couple of times on her door. I wait. I don’t hear anything. I look at my apple watch, 8:13. She should be home from her morning run already. I knock again. I hear movement behind the door. So, I put both of my hands on the door and lean into it.

“Haven, it’s Noah, open up,” I say into the door. I hear the movement again and then the door swings open. There’s Haven wearing just grey sweats and a black pull over hoodie, with her hair up in a messy bun. She’s so breathtakingly beautiful in her natural state. She clutches her chest, in relief. “You okay?” I ask looking around me, making sure no one was behind us. She nods her head, lets out a breath that she apparently was holding in.

“Hi Noah. Sorry, I thought you were someone else. Is everything ok?” She asks standing in the entrance of her house.

“Yeah, yeah, I actually wanted to come by, before going to the bar and talk a bit if that’s okay.” I put my hands in my front pockets, waiting for her response. She nods, moving over, gesturing for me to go in.

I look around taking in the space. I walk in and there are these brown oak beams that look like it could be a hallway, but it’s open. There were two doors on the left, it was most likely a bathroom and closet. The walls are this olive-green color, with oak wood floors. There was a black leather couch on the right side of the room, in front of it was the black coffee table we grabbed yesterday. Nothing else was in the space. I see spiral stairs in the next section of the beams, they were black with oak railings. I continue to walk to the other side of the room, where there was a sliding door, leading to the backyard. To the left was a kitchen again the appliances were black and the cabinets continuing the oak theme I look next to the sliding doors in the corner and see the round glass table, but no chairs.

I walk into the living room part of the house and see the spiral stairs lead to a loft. The wall makes a triangle, so I see the top of a window and a mattress, but nothing else. I take a seat on the sofa and look at her standing with her arms wrapped around herself.

“Sorry, the house isn’t really ready yet,” She says looking at her surroundings. I shake my head.

“No don’t worry, the tables look great, ” I say rubbing the top of the coffee table. She smiles and takes a seat next to me on the sofa. She brings her knees up to her chest and interlocks her fingers together. I decide I need to just address the situation head on, no more small talk. “So, I wanted to apologize to you, for yesterday.” She looks down, not saying anything. So, I continue, “You did not deserve to be treated the way I treated you last night. I feel so guilty for it. I was just so overwhelmed and honestly, I still am. Still, that doesn’t excuse my actions.” I lean forward lock my hands together and wait for Haven to respond.

She doesn’t say anything, but she shifts her legs back down to the floor, but her body is still facing me. I look down at the floor, instead of looking at Haven. I hear her sigh and move closer to me. I look up at her and she puts her hand on my arm.

“I understand, Noah. We all have our demons, right?” She asks, looking at me smiling. I chuckle at my past words and I nod at her. I look at her, in her eyes.

“You’re amazing, you know that?” She looks away, shyly. I bring my hand to her chin and turn her face towards me again, so we’re looking one another in the eye. “I mean it.” She smiles, once again looking away from me.

“No, I’m not,” she says moving back again and bringing her legs back up to her chest.

“Haven, are you kidding me? You are and so much so that tonight, I want you to meet my sister. She’s making dinner and it’ll be fun.” She looks up at me surprised and shakes her head.

“No Noah, I can’t. Your sister? No way,” she said getting up to pace. I laugh because I did that earlier.

“Yes you are,” I say standing up smiling at her. She’s still shaking her head. I turn around and start towards the door. Haven follows. When I reach the door, I turn around to look at Haven. “I get off at 9, Autumn does late night, so I’ll be here to pick you up after, okay?” She stays quiet. I grab her hand and give it a small squeeze. With that I walk out and hop on the bike, heading to the bar.

********

The rush at the bar was bearable. It was just me and some of the waiters. It was a Sunday, football days. Being that it’s the middle of October it was beer, beer and more beer. I’ve noticed a lot of the customers are locals, some are passing through. I’m grateful for Drew for allowing me to manage his bar. Drew came a long way and has made this spot very successful.

I look at my watch, 8:55. Right when I do this the bell above the entrance rings and Autumn comes through the door and smiles at me when she sees me.

“Hi Noah,” Autumn says in her soft southern accent, “How was it today?” I shrug my shoulders, counting the tips for the waiters that are also leaving.

“Same old you know, it wasn’t too bad. Hopefully it stays that way for the next couple of hours.” I go to the back to get envelopes for the tips and Autumn follows.

“Dang, I was hoping something exciting happened so I could look forward to my shift. No Haven today?” She asks, taking off her jacket and placing it on the sofa in the office. I shake my head.

“Nah, she’s going to be doing alternate Sunday’s with the other waiters to make it fair,” I say, putting the money in separate envelopes. Autumn nods and clips on her name tag.

“Oh cool, you know she was a great addition to the team,” she says smiling. I chuckle at her ability to turn a conversation into anything. “Well, I gotta get out there, pray something good happens.” She crosses her fingers and looks up. I laugh. I say bye to Autumn and finish what I was doing. Once I complete everything I needed to, I head out the bar to pick Haven up.

I’m a bit nervous for Haven to meet Ava. I know Ava will love her and it’s a great way to have Haven get more comfortable with me and other people in the town. It’s definitely a great way to apologize. I know later on; I have to tell Haven more about yesterday. Rushing a conversation like that is not a good idea though.

I pull up to Havens driveway and I see the lights on through her window. I hop off the bike and go to her door. I knock three times. I decided earlier to change out of the uniform when I get home. Haven opens the door, and she looks stunning. She has on a beige turtleneck sweater and black jeans with a pair of black flats and a small bag that goes across her body. She flicks off a light by the door and walks out the door.

I smile down at her as she rolls her eyes.

“What?” I ask amused. We walk down the steps towards my bike.

“What do you mean what?” She asks, crossing her arms over her chest.

“You’re upset?” I ask her, stopping in front of my bike, not wanting to force Haven into anything. She shakes her head, dropping her arms to her side.

“No, just nervous. I mean I can tell your sister is important to you and I don’t know,” she shakes her head looking down at the floor. I take this as a cue to go up to her. I grab both of her arms gently, rubbing them up and down.

“I promise you everything is going to be fine. My sister is going to love you. Don’t stress, it’s just dinner okay?” She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. With that we both turn back towards the bike and hop on.

We take the quick ride to Ava’s house.

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